The Journal of heart valve disease vol:6 issue:3 pages:269-73
BACKGROUND AND AIMS OF THE STUDY: In vivo hemodynamic assessment of bileaflet aortic valve prostheses using standardized echocardiography is still uncommon; hence, adequate comparison of valve types can rarely be made. We compared the postoperative hemodynamics of St. Jude Standard valves (SJS) with those of Sorin Bicarbon valves (BC) implanted in the aortic position, using pulsed, continuous and color Doppler echocardiography. METHODS: The examination was performed four months after aortic valve prosthesis implantation in 76 patients (39 SJS valves, 37 BC valves). Valve sizes varied from 19 mm to 25 mm. Maximal and mean instantaneous pressure gradients were measured by Doppler echocardiography. Effective valve orifice area (EOA) was calculated and prosthetic valve regurgitation was assessed by color Doppler flow imaging. RESULTS: At valve sizes of 21 mm, 23 mm and 25 mm, SJS valves had a significantly lower EOAs than BC valves (p < 0.05). However, for a given nominal size, BC valves are larger, i.e. they have a larger anatomic (AOA) and geometric orifice area (GOA) than SJS valves. Consequently, BC valves were implanted in patients with a larger left ventricular outflow tract (p < 0.05). When EOA is related to the corresponding AOA, BC valves still show a larger EOA than SJS valves (p < 0.05). Prosthetic valve regurgitation is low in both valve types. CONCLUSIONS: (a) Nominal valve size is not always a good basis for comparison of hemodynamic profiles between valve types. (b) Using the relationship between EOA and AOA, the hemodynamic profile of BC valves in the aortic position is shown to be superior to that of SJS valves.